Tiny retrospective database analysis of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with rheumatologic disease containing 14 chronic HCQ and 28 control patients. Patients are very poorly matched. Bias against HCQ is clear in the abstract which mentions differences favoring HCQ but ignores those favoring control (large differences in ethnicity, rheumatic conditions, hypertension, coronary artery disease, solid organ transplant recipients, immunosuppresive drugs). 61% of control patients also received HCQ. Adherence for chronic HCQ patients was not examined. Despite the very large differences between the groups, no adjustments are made. The study claims that HCQ did not prevent severe cases, but the study is among hospitalized patients, i.e., they already have cases severe enough for hospitalization - this study can not identify a protective effect of HCQ that reduces the probability of disease severe enough for hospitalization.
Although the 20% lower mortality is not statistically significant, it is consistent with the significant 22% lower mortality [18‑27%]
from meta analysis of the 228 mortality results to date
Pham et al., 2 Mar 2021, retrospective, USA, peer-reviewed, 5 authors.